Stoner takes first pole position of 2010, faster than Losail lap record
Casey Stoner continued his dominant form in Qatar by qualifying on pole for tomorrow's race, beating his existing race lap record from 2008 and his pole time from last year. His fastest lap came at the
end of the session on the harder option front slick and the softer rear.
His second best effort, set on the harder option rear, was only 0.02seconds slower and would still have been good enough for pole, demonstrating the good overlap of performance between the medium and hard compound rear Bridgestone slicks.
Most riders started the hour-long session on the harder option front and rear, the combination that will be most favourable for the race for their improved durability and stability under braking. Almost every rider ultimately went faster on the softer rear tyre though, as expected from short qualifying runs. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa recorded his best on the harder option rear slick though, on the last lap of the session.
The softer option rear tyre provided good traction and therefore laptimes over a small number of laps, but the track temperature was sufficiently high to mean that the harder option provided more durability and consistency over a longer distance and this is why it will be favoured for tomorrow's 22 lap race.
Tohru Ubukata - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"We can see by comparing the times of Casey during the session that the performance of the medium and hard compound slicks is very similar, and this shows me that we have succeeded in developing a new medium compound rear tyre for this year with an even wider temperature operating range.
"Overall the times were good and I am happy with the performance ofthe compound options we have chosen for Qatar. Both are working well and the laptimes are similar on both specs, but clearly the harder front and rear slicks will be favoured for the race because they deliver superior durability which is an important consideration at this circuit. We saw in qualifying that the softer rear tyre was good for a few laps, but then the performance was reduced by the heat and abrasion, so over a race distance the harder option will be faster."